Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Heal a Broken Wing” as Want to Read:
How to Heal a Broken Wing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Heal a Broken Wing

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,335 ratings  ·  282 reviews
In a spare urban fable, Bob Graham brings us one small boy, one loving family, and one miraculous story of hope and healing.

"No one saw the bird fall."

In a city full of hurried people, only young Will notices the bird lying hurt on the ground. With the help of his sympathetic mother, he gently wraps the injured bird and takes it home. In classic Bob Graham style, the beaut
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published April 9th 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Heal a Broken Wing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Heal a Broken Wing

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,335 ratings  ·  282 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Heal a Broken Wing
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This one surprised me. I ordered it for my littlest human, a curious mischief maker who will
paint his face with chocolate pudding or check to see if small pieces of playground rubber bits will fit up his nostril (yep, they will). He loves animals, especially frogs. And when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas he told me that he needed a skeleton to learn about bones. This is the kind of child that can scare a mother, just a little bit, but also make her heart swell with pride over his aga
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Since I am not one who usually loves books with strong and obvious messages, I surprised myself for really liking this one. Why? First and foremost, I think it is because that there is a real plot and emotional arc in the telling of this gentle and simple story of hope. Hope in healing the wounds of the world (a page with the TV screen showing the current War in contrast with the family's loving care of the bird); hope in having our next generations to have compassion for the world around them; ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids who like birds & other animals; for discussion about intervening in order to help others
This author-illustrator seems to write and illustrate books with loving people and families who are animal friendly in various ways.

I just read 2 other picture books by this author-illustrator (and just now noticed that a 3rd book by him that I read recently was a sequel, and I haven’t read the first book). When I was alerted to the other two books I read today, I noticed that this book has been on my to-read shelf since November 23, 2008, so I reserved it at the library when I reserved the othe
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
In a large, busy city no one notices a fallen bird...except for a kindhearted young boy, Will, who runs to rescue it. Will takes the bird home to his family and with rest, time, and hope the family is able to help the bird heal its broken wing.

What I admired most in this story was Graham usage of color to emphasize the kindness of Will and his family. The city and busy people are represented by greys, browns, and other neutral hues while Will is shown in bright red and blues. This color choice
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely and touching story about a boy and his family who spare no expense when it comes to saving a pigeon who has flown into a building. In the end they are rewarded for their efforts.


One of Graham's best.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Animal Lovers / Anyone Looking for Hopeful, Compassionate Stories for Children
"High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass. No one saw the bird fall. No one looked down..." No one, that is, except Will, a compassionate young boy with eyes in his head, and no hesitation in getting involved to help a fellow creature in distress. As pedestrians stream by, oblivious to the suffering bird at their feet, it falls to Will to do what the adults either can't or won't. Dragging his clearly reluctant mother along, he cradles the bird in his arms, eventu ...more
Nola Lorraine
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book starts out on a sad note, but ends well. A pigeon flies into a glass panel high up on a building and breaks its wing. A little boy finds it lying on the ground and takes it home. The family cares for it in the hope that it will fly again.

There aren't a lot of words in this book, as it's told mainly in pictures. The illustrations are good and some are arranged on the page in panels almost like a comic book so that you can follow the sequence of events. A good way of involving a child in
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humane-education
A pigeon lays helpless on a city street. Everyone walks by, enmeshed in their busy lives, until a little boy notices. So begins this sweet story of a small child, Will, and his parents as they work to care for and rehabilitate the injured bird until they are able to set her free.

The compassionate, selfless values on display here are a real treat, and something you'll want to share with children. There is some valid criticism here of attempting to care for a wild animal without the input of a ve
Sue Read
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
It often takes a child to see and value in a way that adults have forgotten. This is a nice story about a boy who sees, loves and saves a bird with a broken wing. The use of colour is striking as is the layout which engages the reader by breaking down the story into small, detailed sections offering so much more empathy, dialogue and action than is actually written. I really like the 'Mum' character; anxious to help and wrap the bird in her scarf and allow the bird to sit on the sofa! I like the ...more
R. C.
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an early but strong contender for best bedtime story of 2010. The reader's heart absolutely falls and soars when the bird does. The graphic-novel-inspired illustration style gets the emotions of the bird across perfectly without resorting to personification. Any parent knows that every toddler would stop for every fallen bird; that familiarity and realism makes the story of the bird's plight hit home even harder. This nearly wordless, brief picture book made me cry. My four-year-old was ...more
Kate Hastings
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grades K-3 compassion ecology
A boy notices an injured bird in the middle of a busy city sidewalk. He takes it home and nurses it to health. Bob Graham has wonderful, sweet pictures that make the story. I see a tie-in to character development/compassion/ecology.
The city is a busy place and people are often caught up in their own thoughts. So when a pigeon, confused by the sky's reflection on a skyscraper, it knocks itself out and remains ignored until Will, a young boy, comes along. Determined to care for it, he cajoles his mother into allowing him to take it home. In time, the pigeon is healed enough to fly and is returned to the very place in which it fell.

Although there is some writing here, Graham allows his environment and the people in it to tel
Amy Brydon Jones
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful little story which focuses on what children see that adults often forget. I think there are lots of ways this book can be interpreted which is why I like it so much. In one way, I first looked at it as a message of hope and no matter how broken things may seem, things can get better. Then I started to look at it as a story of perspective, and the difference between children and adults. No matter what interpretation you gain, the illustrations and the pastel colours Graham uses are ve ...more
How to Heal a Broken Wing tells a simple yet heartwarming and uplifting story, whose message about compassion and hope goes well beyond the plot of the book. In Graham's own words, "In troubled times, when many of us are losing contact with the natural world, I wanted to show that there is still hope in a coming generation of children who have curiosity and empathy with the world around them, and that care and attention can sometimes fix broken wings."

Also, Graham's use of carefully selected wor
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beloved author and illustrator David Graham has produced yet another beautiful picture book. How to Heal a Broken Wing tells the story of a pigeon that falls out of the sky and lands in the middle of a busy city. No one seems to notice this poor bird, except for a little boy named Will. With the help of his mother he brings the bird home. Will and his parents nurse the bird back to health and mend its broken wing until finally the pigeon is able to fly away and rejoin the other birds in the wild ...more
Katherine Fountain
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How To Heal A Broken Wing is so inspiring and as an adult, I got goose bumps and felt such strong emotion while reading this story. The story centers around a bird who falls to the ground from a broken wing and no one helps the bird...except for a young boy named Will. Will takes the bird home and cares for the bird and with lots of hope, the bird (spoiler alert) is able to fly again. This book is so powerful with only a few words. If a child can not read yet, the pictures are so detailed that i ...more
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Cybils Award for Picture Book Fiction
The story begins on the end papers, where we see a pigeon flying near the page edge, tall buildings and then a wall of glass that foreshadow the first line of text: "High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass." A gray uncaring crowd walks past until our small hero, in a bright red jacket, struggles up the stairs from the subway. Hope is restored when a larger-than-life Will bends down and gently picks up the fallen bird.
In onl
Marjorie Ingall
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-3-6
Maxine, 4, loves this book. I do too. It's a simple story of a boy who rescues a pigeon, But it's told with such poetic minimalism, and I love the illustrations, which are a mix of panels/small illustrations and full pages. The area in which the bird flies into the side of a glass building looks like the World Trade Center neighborhood. I don't know if it's supposed to, but to me it sure does. And a TV and newspaper in a couple of the illustrations show images of war. It's all kinda sad and reso ...more
Tawnya Shaw
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book really touched me, and I just couldn't keep the tears back. There are very little words, and the ones that are there are short and to the point. The illustrations are simple as well, but represent so many emotions and so much pain I could hardly stand it. It is sad when any living thing is neglected and in pain, and the bird in the story could have easily been replaced with a cat, dog, child, or neglected person of some kind. The child was not just healing the broken wing, but mending ...more
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A sweet and sparse picture book where the powerful illustrations tell the entire story of healing and hope. Right when you open the book, you see a pigeon soaring through the clouds, then you turn the page before the actual book starts, and see the startling image of the pigeon crashing into a high rise building. What follows is the choice a young boy makes to take this fallen bird home and under his care, and the slow but hopeful days of healing shown in such beautiful detail in the illustratio ...more
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This is a beautiful book that does a fantastic job of teaching some very important lessons in a simple manner. A young boy is the only one in a big crowd of people that notices a pigeon laying on the sidewalk with a broken wing. He insists on taking it home and caring for it and sees a miracle happen. I loved the illustrations, loved the story, and loved the fact that both me and my 5 year old walked away with beautiful lessons learned from this story.
Ginny Messina
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book. I loved dear little compassionate Will and also his family who supported and nurtured that compassion. The story is wonderful for kids and adults, and the illustrations are especially great for adults because they are so packed with fabulous detail. I savored every page of this book and will do so again before it heads back to the library.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, childrens-books
A beautiful picture book with a sinple story about a little boy who finds an injured pigeon and takes it home to heal. My son proclaimed this his favorite book that we read today. I will be looking for more books by this author.
Feb 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, audiobook
While labeled a classic by the narrator, I was not aware of Bob Graham's "How to Heal a Broken Wing" until I interpreted it for my K-12 practicum experience. Although I would not call it such, I can see why this picture book is pleasing to the eye and the heart.

A short tale rich with illustrated cells, readers of all ages are reminded that all occurs in good time: healing especially so. The carefully selected words scattered throughout the book offer a chance for the pictures and their actions
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This is a fabulous picture book. It's about a bird who has fallen and broken it's wing. Nobody sees the bird fall, or notices the bird laying on the ground, despite the number of people there are on the street. One little boy named Will notices the bird and takes care of the bird, bringing the bird home, wrapping it's wing, and caring for it. Eventually, the bird flies.

The way that the author uses words in this book really sets a theme for how we use words as humans. Often we don't notice birds
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham, is about a little boy, Will, who is the only one to notice that a bird has fallen and broken him wing in the middle of a crowded square in the city. He goes to the bird, picks it up, and he and his mother take the bird home with them. Will and his family take care of the bird until its wing heals, and they are able to release it again. The book itself has very little words, but its illustrations make up for that. Graham is also the illustrator for his bo ...more
Lauren Barber
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A bird falls after hitting a glass pane on a building, left fearful and alone with a broken wing. Will is the only one who sees this bird. The illustrations here show Will in a bright red coat in the middle of the gray-colored crowd of people, putting the focus on the compassionate boy scooping up the crippled bird. With the help of his mother, they take the bird home. The next few pages show Will and his parents doctoring the bird and letting it have practice trying to fly, all while the calen ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The words are very spare and the paintings are very richly detailed, challenging the young reader to pick out the salient detail - the lone pigeon against a landscape of skyscrapers, the tiny boy in a sea of uncaring strangers. Only he notices the pigeon with the broken wing lying on the sidewalk. His family comes together to help him nurse it back to health. Will the bird be able to fly again? It is a sweet story of a young boy who notices what no one else notices, and takes the initiative to h ...more
I would recommend this book simply for the art. It is beautiful. It has more pictures than words, but the story doesn't suffer for that. The detailed illustrations show time passing and a whole lot of other teeny details that make the book wonderful. The little boy shows that it takes someone who cares to notice others and intervene to make someone's life change. Everyone else was ignoring the problem.

Now, as a trained naturalist, I will say that the way the family went about helping the bird wa
Molly Campbell
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book is about a bird that hits a building and breaks its wing. A little boy named Will finds it and takes it home to help heal him. Will takes care of the bird in order that he may one day fly again.

I really loved this short, simple story. One reason I liked this story so much is the illustrations. There are not many words, so the illustrations take control and truly tell the story. Another reason I liked it so much is the underlying message of hope.

This book would be perfect for pre-k to
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2019 Roe Reading ...: How to Heal a Broken Wing (Bob Graham) 1 1 Aug 13, 2020 06:09AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Way Back Home (The Boy, #3)
  • Monkey And Me
  • Shh! We Have a Plan
  • The Barnabus Project
  • The Pigeon Needs a Bath!
  • A Giraffe and a Half
  • This Moose Belongs to Me
  • There's Going to Be a Baby
  • After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again
  • The Bear with the Sword
  • Grobblechops
  • The Great Indoors
  • Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
  • Little Wise Wolf
  • Smelly Louie
  • Pittipat's Saucer of Moon
  • The Runaway Dinner
  • Where's the Elephant?
See similar books…
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

An Australian children's author and illustrator. His books include Max, which won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal, and "Let's Get A Pup!" Said Kate which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award

News & Interviews

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
87 likes · 13 comments